I'm having trouble with the following sentences. Which one is correct, or both are possibly correct too?

1) Wow...something smells good! Is it hot dogs?
2) Wow...something smells good! Are they hot dogs?

I understand that 'something'(also referring to the plural object; i.e. hot dogs) is a singular indefinite pronoun.

Should I use is or are in this sense?


1 Answer 1


In your example, the word something is in an entirely different sentence from hot dogs so something would not affect the subject-verb-agreement in the next sentence.

In the first sentence, "Something smells good," the subject and verb agree. "Something" is always a singular pronoun.

Take a look at this example:

That hot dog smells good! (singular - correct)

Something smells good! (singular - correct)


Those hot dogs smell good! (plural - correct)

Something smell good! (X - incorrect)

The singular subject something and verb smell do not agree, even though something may not actually refer to a singular object.

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